On Edge













Typically for UCW, the goal is to knock the other guy clean the fuck out. A pinfall or a submission is not on the menu. The high demand for brute force and pain has to affect a wrestler's psyche. At the beginning of this match, Coleman comments on the Viking's guardedness, tentatively extending his left hand instead of his right for the customary sportsmanlike handshake. "You don't trust me or something?" Free asks. "I don't know, man," Erik replies warily, tightening his grip. "I'm new here." "Relax," Coleman urges, but Erik no sooner offers his right hand than Coleman kicks the guy in the gut. 

It's a savage, perhaps even cynical opener to a match whose intensity mounts rapidly. Two minutes later Coleman is biting Erik's foot! Chokes, ball-twisting, eye-gouging, and bulldogging intermix with more traditional moves like arm bars, headlocks, and chicken wings. Always the emphasis is on pain and win-at-all-costs demolition. And the heel moves are not limited to Coleman. Erik requires no encouragement to kick Free's ass and by any means necessary to deal the finishing blow. In the middle of the match, there are side-by-side choke-outs. In both cases, the seeming victor lifts his opponent's hand and twice lets it drop limply to the mat. But the seeming victim rouses - vehemently - before a third drop is completed, and the cycle continues.

Such give and take energizes the match, and the violence mounts all the way to the startling climax that lands with a bang in the final 30 seconds.


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